Stan Lee’s Former Company Claims Disney DOESN'T Own Marvel Superheros; Files For Damages

Stan Lee’s Former Company Claims Disney DOESN'T Own Marvel Superheros; Files For Damages

Stan Lee Media, Inc. claim they still hold the copyrights to such characters as Spider-Man, The X-Men, The Avengers and more - and not only are they are looking for a big payday, but control over the characters as well. Read on for details..

Stan Lee's former company - Stan Lee Media, Inc. - filed a copyright infringement complaint against Walt Disney Company today, claiming that they never held the copyrights to the various Marvel Comics characters we have seen up on the big screen over the past few years..

“Defendant The Walt Disney Company has represented to the public that it, in fact, owns the copyright to these characters as well as to hundreds of other characters created by Stan Lee. Those representations made to the public by The Walt Disney Company are false.”

You can read the legal document in full here, but basically SLMI are looking for “the maximum statutory damages allowable”, meaning a nice slice of the $5.5 billion they say that the Walt Disney Company has made from superhero movies and merchandise based on Lee's characters, AND full control over anything done with these characters in the future. What does this mean for our beloved Marvel Cinematic Universe? Only time will tell. We will keep you updated on any developments.

Posted By:
Mark Cassidy
Member Since 11/9/2008
Filed Under "Other" 10/9/2012 Source: Deadline
DISCLAIMER: is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
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Koala0226 - 10/9/2012, 7:08 PM
And they now just come out with this info...
superotherside - 10/9/2012, 7:11 PM
I sure hope it doesn't mess up any of the films or anything. Just give them their cut and forget about it.
DaenerysTargaryen - 10/9/2012, 7:22 PM
As long as it doesn't stop my movies from being made, then whatever
marvelstudios - 10/9/2012, 7:26 PM
Fk this pisses me off. Hope it doesn't affect the MCU in any way.
Mrcool210 - 10/9/2012, 7:28 PM
didnt they go bankrupt a while ago? plus, stan doesnt own marvel so they are gonna get theyre asses kicked in court
superotherside - 10/9/2012, 7:36 PM
Stan isn't involved. This is a company he was involved with at one time. Hopefully they can either make a deal with them to keep the rights or it gets kicked out of court.
ImNoSuperMan - 10/9/2012, 7:39 PM
Isn't it ironic how when it is only AFTER Disney/Marvel has made billions of $$$ off these characters and stories that SLMI wants in?

"If you're not present during my struggle, don't expect to be present during my success"
~Will Smith
mrHJK - 10/9/2012, 7:41 PM
I'm fairly certain this company already tried to sue Marvel and failed.. And even somehow tried to sue Stan Lee for his name. It's basically a failed production company that now consist of a few lawyers just living off settlements.
Rhinoman - 10/9/2012, 7:42 PM
Not sure if anyone knows this but DISNEY HAS GOOD LAWYERS. They would not invest 4 Billion dollars into Marvel without checking to see if these contracts are Ironclad
Tainted87 - 10/9/2012, 7:44 PM
This is like a collection agency...
LFANCH - 10/9/2012, 7:44 PM
Didn't Stan Lee ditch this company years ago cause they pissed him off?
Moakynubs - 10/9/2012, 7:45 PM
Lol. The company is called Stan Lee media and they don't even have Stan Lee. That's already pathetic.
jimpinto24 - 10/9/2012, 7:48 PM
WTF???? Why would they sue Marvel for The Avengers when Marvel already owns the copyrights of The Avengers???
D117 - 10/9/2012, 7:50 PM
Aren't they at little late? Should've settled this when Iron Man was in production lol.
Viltrumite - 10/9/2012, 7:53 PM
Also, to my knowledge, Stan Lee is no longer associated with this company. The company sued -him- not too long ago, too.
StarkAnthony - 10/9/2012, 7:54 PM
Pretty sure this company has no legitimate claims to any of these characters. Disney should have no problem taking care of this
CharlesLord - 10/9/2012, 8:03 PM
the real sad thing about this is that Stan's name is still attached to this company and he's not even involved. Smh now ppl are gonna be thinkin Stan is tryna sue Disney
Ghaleonausa - 10/9/2012, 8:03 PM
Really hoping this don't screw up MCU going forward
RR51 - 10/9/2012, 8:03 PM
dc420911 - 10/9/2012, 8:05 PM
did any of you guys read the lawsuit it seems pretty legit, if lee had any of the rights as of '98. plus the reason its happening now is because they started looking into stuff like this 2 years ago. read the law suit
GoILL - 10/9/2012, 8:07 PM
People go crazy when big money is involved.
ThePowerCosmic - 10/9/2012, 8:08 PM
Disney's great lawyers didn't do anything about the Phase one box set, hopefully they can handle this.
ThePowerCosmic - 10/9/2012, 8:09 PM
"When Blood is in the water the sharks will come" - Whiplash, Iron man 2
DrainBamage - 10/9/2012, 8:19 PM
I don't know, Disney does sort of have a track record for this kind of thing.

Before they officially took them over, didn't they get sued by Henson's family a while back for using The Muppets without their permission?

And on the flipside, is SLMI also suing Sony and Fox as well, or are they just singling out Disney? Or have they already reached some sort of agreement with the other two?
ZombieOverEasy - 10/9/2012, 8:22 PM
Wouldn't it be funny if a company successfully sued Disney for the characters "owned" (allegedly) by Marvel, created by Stan Lee and that company was called Stan Lee Media, but yet had no involvement with Stan Lee?

This is almost as confusing as the Summer's family tree.
TheNightmare - 10/9/2012, 8:25 PM
Dc420911 I just looked up Stan lee media it looks like the been suing everyone mostly Marvel and Stan Lee since 2007.
Most of the lawsuits they lost, not having anyway to prove their ownership the courts have thrown out most of the cases. Here are two cases though not high courts are appeals court as well a federal judge
I don't know if they have any validity to their claim, but does not seem they have any ground to stand on. Sorry for the long post as well as bad grammar.
genesis609 - 10/9/2012, 8:28 PM
hopefully this means disney can get x men spidey and ff!!! ;)
DioFoRio - 10/9/2012, 8:32 PM
these dudes sue everybody....too funny
Jollem - 10/9/2012, 8:32 PM

Howlett - 10/9/2012, 8:33 PM
Ronald McDonald suing McDonalds again.
IronWarrior777 - 10/9/2012, 8:38 PM
Stan Lee is a BOSS!
dc420911 - 10/9/2012, 8:41 PM
thenightmare, good to know. i was just going off of what was said in the paperwork
buckjoe - 10/9/2012, 8:42 PM
First of all can we fixed it where it says Stan Lee was co-creator. Not one characters he came up with by himself. It's always with other artists.
OdinsBeard - 10/9/2012, 8:43 PM
OtakuPapi - 10/9/2012, 8:47 PM
Oddly enough Stan Lee has a habit of claiming ownership from nowhere.I think his lawyers just look for loopholes all day to get over on
nikgrid - 10/9/2012, 8:50 PM
as well as to hundreds of other characters created by Stan Lee.......AND Jack Kirby AND Steve Ditko and other people no doubt.
rockerdude22 - 10/9/2012, 8:53 PM
Didn't these people also sue for the profits of Conan the Barbarian awhile ago? I think it was for 100% of the profits of that movie. It makes me laugh that these people will sue just about anybody for some cash lol.
rockerdude22 - 10/9/2012, 8:55 PM
Also, Disney is a multi-billion dollar company. They're sure to have a really good legal team, so I wouldn't worry too much guys!
PistonSmash - 10/9/2012, 8:55 PM
Can you people please get things straight in your twisted little minds?

1. Stan Lee has NO CONNECTION to this lawsuit at all

2. Lawsuits like these can take years to assemble and formally issue. I'm sure this isn't just a spur of the moment lawsuit, they have been putting this together for awhile

I can't believe there wasn't a clause somewhere in Stan's contract when he was at Marvel that any characters he created were in part owned by Marvel. It's not like he could have brought Spiderman over to DC if they paid him enough, right?
Jollem - 10/9/2012, 8:59 PM
@MrEko - stan lee media, inc. just heard you were making your way there, so they locked the place up, hid, and put out this doormat...

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